I was briefly looking at an article this evening that had mentioned Sigmund Freud. The writer was wondering why Freud never identified anger as a defense mechanism. I suspect anger can hide a variety of emotions. It may keep us from being aware of more vulnerable emotions. Defense mechanisms are unconscious process that may protect us from anxiety, or some threat to our sense of self. We may not want to know that we may have certain unacceptable thoughts or feelings. They can help us deal with certain thoughts and feeling by keeping them out of our consciousness or awareness. Many of us are familiar with some of Freud's defense mechanisms, such as projection, denial, and dissociation, These unconscious functions that attempt to help us reduce anxiety. I am not sure I remember Freud talking about, "conscious dishonesty", as a defense mechanism. This is a very polite way to talk about the subject. I have to admit that the one thing that I really hate is when people are dishonest with me. I will be more blunt. I really hate being lied too!!! I understand that we often tell white lies so that we don't hurt others feelings. It is useful and even necessary, as we try to show sensitivity to others. I liked a comment that I heard recently. "The best thing you can do if your wife asks you if she looks fat in her dress, is to fall on the floor and pretend you are having a heart attacks". Some situations are really difficult! I am reminded of the movie "Liar Liar", with Jim Carey. Great example of how difficult it is to be honest at times. Too often people are dishonest because they want avoid conflict. Although I understand this, I don't believe it is a useful communication tool. I have often been perplexed when someone close to me would tell someone a lie regarding a matter that was relatively unimportant, and could be handled much more effectively with tactful honesty. So what if there is a little bit of tension in the relationship, it can easily be taken care of by letting the other know how much we value them in most situations. Of course there are times when people are completely unreasonable, but even then it is likely better to have the conflict or argument in most cases, as opposed to being caught in a lie. I have lied in my life, and many more times than once. I have exaggerated the truth and left out important details. There are times when we don't want to give a vindictive coworker or supervisor ammunition to hurt us. We don't want to hand them a gun and say shoot me. Most times dishonesty is unnecessary and eventually hurts both the other and ourselves. Certainly it is most often unhelpful, and even destructive in intimate relationships. Just one lie may destroy our credibility for years. Sometimes people develop such a habit of being dishonest that they don't even realize that they are not telling the truth. So I suspect both anger and dishonesty could be identified as, "defense mechanisms". There are typically much better ways to protect ourselves. In intimate relationships it is very unlikely to help us to build the loving connection that we really want.